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tv   Charlie Rose  WHUT  July 19, 2012 6:00am-7:00am EDT

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>> rose: welcome to the program. we begin this evening with rob malley, richard haass, david kirkpatrick and janine di giovanni and the consideration of the implications of a dramatic day in damascus syria. but first this report from the cbs evening news. a funeral turned to celebration when mourners learned the defense minister was dead. across the country in this savage civil war, activists celebrated today's bombing because it struck at inside the syrian regime. the dead men were like everyone else in the room master minding the plan to crush syria's uprising. they were meeting in the national security headquarters
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near the center of damascus. even though fighting has come uncomfortably close these past four days, it still should have been one of the safest buildings in the country. the opposition free syrian army has claimed responsibility for the bombing. there is information blames arab and weren't governments, their intelligence agencies and spies are responsible he said. a syrian official did tell me tonight the government is horrified how easily the bomber appeared to have entered the building. almost immediately after the blast, a new defense minister was appointed, and for the first time state television broadcast pictures meant to reassure the public. on the one hand, they do show the soldiers taking on the armed opposition. on the other hand, they are proof along with today's bombing that a deadly opposition offensive is in the heart of the
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syrian capitol. >> rose: we continue this evening with andy morris of espn and the look at the 141st british open golf tournament. we conclude this evening with a look at suicide in the military. first with nancy gibbs and mark thompson of "time" magazine, and finally tom tarantino, a former army captain. a consequencal bombing in damascus syrian the british open and the tragedy of suicide in the military when we continue.
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captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york
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city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: we begin this evening withdrawallic news from syria a bombing in the capitol of damascus. the dead include the syrian defense minister and the president's brother-in-law who was a military deputy chief of staff. the assassinations could be a turning point in the 17-month revolt against the assad regime. according to un estimates the uprising have claimed more than 10,000 lives. just hours after the attack the obama administration imposed sanctions against top syrian government members. this week the un security council is expected to devote possibly allowing more aggressive action. defense second leon panetta addressed in a news conference this morning. >> the united states and the
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international community continue to work together through the united nations, through whatever possible vehicles we have to bring additional pressure on assad's step down. and to allow for a peaceful transition of government there in syria. and it is something that we've made very clear to them that they have a responsibility to safeguard their chemical sites. and that we will hold them responsible should anything happen with regards to those sites. >> rose: joining me from washington dc, rob molly the director of the international crises group. richard haass president of the council and foreign relations, also joining us too distinguished reporters david kirk patrick is a cairo bureau chief for the "new york times" and janine di giovanni she's an awat recently wrote
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about president assad's reporters for news weeks and the daily beast. i am pleased to have them here. your filings on the story as we speak. what do we know at 3:30. >> as far as i know, three close advisors to president assad integral rule figures in his war machine has been keu8d as a bomb went off right in what should have been the most secure room in the assad government. pretty much equivalent of the whitehouse situation room where his crises female was meeting, someone managed to blow up a bomb and kill these three integral figures. >> rose: it was a suicide bombers. >> it was a suicide bomber. i don't know the identity of the bomber or crucially that person's sectarian identity whether it was a sunni or what kind of opponent. >> rose: who ought to be noted for being killed. >> his brother-in-law who is an
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enforcer within the government, his defense minister, and another top figure. defense minister was the highest ranking christian in the assad government, and another top lieutenant who is a very senior sunni general. >> rose: and the interior minister? >> i don't yet know the status of the interior minister. >> rose: he was there, though it is said. we don't know that either yet. and so has there been any response from the>> the state ta has reported these deaths, and i think by thend of the day we'll see what kind of a show they can make to prove that their regime is still in tact. >> rose: rob malley what can you add to what we know at this time about this story because you guys have an office either in damascus or nearby. >> well, what i could add is there's a lot we don't know. rumors are swirling about who was actually killed and when it happened. some people actually think it happened last night and some
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believe they were killed a white back and only reported now. their reports about wherebies and their state of health. i think at this point we know something happens and we know it's something big because both here in state television and hezbollah's own channel reported it that david just reported and we know there is now shelling apparently in damascus and there has been for sometime either in retaliation or preplanned by the regime. there's a lot we don't know. some people suggest this might have been an internal job. some people in the regime trying to hurt others. at this point we should be careful about jumping to conclusions other than to say something that's happened, something significant and we haven't seen the end of the story yet. >> rose: i'm sure you're working the phone. tell me what the implications of this are. >> well when i left damascus ten days ago what we were seeing was the beginning of a kind of intimidation process, chipping away at the regime, in a sense trying to unify the opposition more and more. there was fighting around
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damascus in suburbs. there were several car bombs, there was clashes every day. i think what this is going to do is whether or not we don't know yet who is responsible for it but it will definitely unify in some way the opposition and also give a real kick to the assad regime to their confidence. because in a sense it's just, they had appeared when i was there very sure of their strength, and yet there were many government soldiers that were being killed every day. i went to a funeral one day where 50 soldiers were being killed. >> rose: interesting thing about this too coming as it is and even this was obviously a surprise because of the nature of the people and getting access to the people who thought they were clearly secure. you wrote a piece about champagne and bombs so to speak that the populous in damascus in part had no sense of the terror
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that was going on. >> let's a great sense of denial. i've often seen this before a war breaks that people want to cling to their last sense of normality. but in damascus it really struck me more than any other regime collapse i've ever seen. but i think this clearly would be the bubble has burst. it has to be. at that point there was still, there was fighting in damascus around it. there were car bombs but people still had the sense we're not going to leave yet. we're not going to flee. outside is strong, the army is strong. and the supporters that i talked to, it was more a sense of not that they weren't critical of the regime but that they were afraid of what might come next. no one was sure is it going to be a fundamentalist regime to replace it. we don't want a long protected war in the bosnia or iraq template. it was based on dilution in a sense and of course lack of information because there's a media blackout there. >> rose: what are the
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implications of this. >> the united nations as you know put off a vote on a news resolution on syria. i think people want to see what's happening on the ground. the russians though still do not want to give a green light to the international community to intervene. again they never want to set the precedent that the international community has the right to get involved in what they see as sovereign matters. this is above and beyond any particular interest they may have with syria. united states keeps doing what it's doing. the cia has clearly got people on the ground working not giving arms but making sure the arms reaching the syrian countries are being used optimally and maximally giving coordination see they go to the right people. sanctions are tightening. what i would like to see is more diplomatic pressure put on russia by the arabs. it would be good if art crimes were threatened against some of the people still supporting the regime. but things are moving in the direction ever wants. the regime in syria has lost control of lots of spaces
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between the major cities because they've got to focus the army and the intelligence types where the population is greatest. >> rose: and where this is powers. >> exactly. that's why again this bomg is so significant because this was within if you will the gates that they -- so i think you'll see one of two things. you'll see the regime strike back to say that they're not done so actually things could get worse in the not too distant future. they're going to want to send a message to the opposition. but i do think ultimately the history of this is written, this is part of the narrative, this is one of the turning points where essentially the regime is beginning to lose power, defections will probably now pick up with it which is critical. and then ultimately all this is pre lewd and you mentioned the most of point which is some point -- >> rose: you ask the question. >> these guys are going to go and the question then is then what. do we look at a scenario that is an extraordinarily positive one ala libya or look at a scenario
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that resemble a rock much more in the term of sectarianism which the historian would have said is the next stage of the war. once you get rid of the king of the regime then essentially everyone who agreed on getting rid of the regime then there's the falling out and that's obviously the real concern. >> rose: dave you've been there. what are the questions you're asking someone who has been there from the beginning of the arab spring. >> well, in each of these countries in tunisia, egypt and now in syria the question is that kind of upburst strata, the middle class if you will or in the case of the assad government it's kind of the sunni elite. part of the sunni majority that made their piece, the merchant class incorporated, the people incorporated into the defense apparatus, when do they turn. when do they say, you know, this regime is going to go, let's get while the going's good. >> rose: it's gone has it not. >> or alternatively i was afraid what comes next i'm more afraid
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what we have now. that's what this seems potentially to signify because it seems like the opposition can now move within damascus. they can move very close to the president. they sort of penetrated into the territory that was that sort of loyal establishment. the successful dictator does not let this happen. the qaddafi even down to the last, even after the fall of tripoli had around him loyalists that would prevent this kind of so close to the very heart of his power. even when he was on the lam and on the run nothing like this happened to him. in a sense without the help of nato the syrian opposition has gotten a lot further than the libyans ever did. >> rose: what options does bashar have this evening. >> what happened today what we have to see is what's been the dynamic of the revolution of the regime now for several months. it wasn't a state for a long time and it's less and less a regime. it's more and more a militia
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organized acting as such which is why defection of the middle class or the business class at some level won't really affect them. they are now defending sectarian interests and this conflict has become increasingly polarized along sectarian lines. and those sectarian interests are being fought for on very clear territorial lines. if you follow the pattern of the massacres that have taken place in recent weeks and months they coincide with assault lines when -- and sunnies. what we're seeing and maybe what happened today or accelerated is this pattern in which the regime becomes more and more concentrated in certain areas. it's going to want to hold on to damascus and i think richard is right that we may see more violence in damascus and around damascus because that's obviously the seat of power. when they hold on to damascus or not we're going to see them strengthen and bolster their position in the west and the mountains in the west where the alloites have their strong hold. that's one of the dangers of the
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conflict it keeps muting ever more to a sectarian tellerrized conflict. the more it goes on is try to build bridges when those communities. >> rose: this incident said to many of them the time is now. the moment of decision is here. >> i think one of the thing with the opposition is it's so fractured and so many people that i spoke to whether they were activists in damascus, people in homes was that this common thread which you hear often in the middle east is that there was, there's a third element that's now introduced to the free syrian army. i interviewed several government soldiers who were wounded who said i saw fighting opposite me. libyans lebanonese, and i said you know, clearly how did you know this. their act sense, they were not syrians. this is one of the myths or non-myths perpetuating around damascus around a certain level of elites that want to keep the
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regime as it is. syrians would not do this to each other. it was committed by outside forces. and i think this is a really interesting element because people fear there as well is the outside powers coming in. if iran, saudi, qatar, hezbollah and all of this contributes to the general feeling not just of paranoia of a real fear. >> rose: i want to come to this notion beshad assad if he decides to fight to the last does he have chemical weapons to be used, would he use them if he decides that i know it's over but i'm going down in flames. >> that is over my head. i have no idea what kind of assets. maybe you do. >> he does have chemical mu
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anythings. we have -- quite honestly if we had any reason to believe that those weapons were going to be used or handed over to groups say like hezbollah or whatever, i actually think there's a very strong case for a limited military action against it. not if you will humanitarian intervention in the larger sense but to take out as many of those weapons as we could before they either were used or fell into even worse hands than they already have. as bad as the situation is now one of the rules about the middle east, things always have to get worse before they get even worse. we do not want to see this situation. >> rose: we clearly have the capacity to do that do we thought, the special operations can do that. >> the drones or whatever but it's very tactical intel yunls. the real question is whether you had sufficient timely intelligence in order to do that. i would say if we did that is something we should look at quite seriously. >> rose: rob, what are your people who know assad tell you about him in terms of, i mean is he a guy that's going to be on the phone to russia saying okay i get it. can i live in moscow or is their
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guy going to say something else. >> all i could offer is sort of a speculation based on what we've seen. i think he's somebody from everything we're hearing who is living really in a different reality, who has been in budget for the longest time, perhaps what's happened today will get him out of that but he seems to really, including from what i understand people close to him are quite perplexed by how removed he appears to be from the military situation on the ground. i don't expect him to pick up and leave but i have to say at some point even if he were to do that, given how deeply polarized the situation is, and given how much both sides, and they are, if you talked to alloites they are convinced the sunnies are out to get them. he believe all the propaganda they hear on state television. if you imagine bashar were to leave which i don't think they will do. that doesn't mean the conflict ends. it will mutate into something but you will still have very likely strong resistance from alloite forces which are strong
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in terms of their weaponry and arsenal. it may well be irrelevant whether bashar stays or not. one thing i would add to the narrative today which seems to be an assad story but i think could have really impact is what happened to bulgaria with the terrorists attack on the bus. israel has immediately accused perhaps wrongly hezbollah and iran, i don't know but it will retaliate. what will that retaliation do in lebanon and what then will impact in syria. this does have the potential. we're not there yet. >> rose: are you raising the question that this is the time for israel to strike iran if in fact it wants to do that and believes that the sort of zone of immunity is close by and here's an opportunity. >> i'm not sure iran. lebanon more likely. this is the kind of attack knowing israel the way most of us do, they will respond. perhaps. and again, one will have to see how it interconnects whether there is any interconnection but
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we're sitting on a tinder box. >> it reinforces the sense iranians are not a normal country or government and they cannot be trusted. it is not going to lead -- it's going to harden slightly and toughen the attitude in israel which is already as you know fairly tough on this issue. the other issue that comes out of a lot of this and it's come around this table which is the future what's going to happen in syria is if you're thinking about humanitarian intervention, one of the lessons of this is that in some ways libya is not the template. this is much more deeply rooted and then if you're thinking about getting rid of regimes and the strategic and humanitarian reasons to get rid of the assad reseem in syria it puts on a tremendous obligation of the aftermath. >> rose: iran is the central question. they lose in this when assad goes. >> yes, yes that's true.
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and they increasingly look like the losers in the broader arab spring. you see the region solidifying in way that's less and less hospitable to iran, do agree. >> if -- becomes one of the places of minority government. >> rose: sunni government and the shiite. >> one of the interesting questions is how this effect the nuclear program. imagine for a second that syria falls, there's a strategic set back for iran. how does that affect the iranian calculus on the nuclear program and do they look at the nuclear program and maybe not so suddenly as a way if you will of a strategic compensation that this is a way to somehow come back a little bit. >> rose: or do you say accelerate the program because it's the only thing you have. >> to make up for the strategic set back they may well have experienced in syria. i wouldn't rule that out that that becomes a prelude to something that brings the iranian issue even to the fore. >> rose: so who wins in
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syria? how do we assess who is coming to power? >> well, as we've discussed, the news is bad. the outlines is a sectarian conflict which will likely live beyond the assad regime. i assume the question you mean by who is coming to power is what do the ascendant forces, the sunni forces look like. >> rose: and egypt which i asked a lot how they are coming to power how we measure their intent and their options. >> you know what, i think in syria it's much more of a black box. i mean, i don't think anyone has a good measure of the etiology of sunni there. i think the syrian branch or franchise of the muslim brotherhood movement is likely to play an of role. and the real character of their
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etiology, i haven't met anybody who can speak to with great certainty. >> rose: rob tells me what happened if assad goes and how it plays itself out. >> i'll make two comments. first there are different ways in which the regime can survive. already it's not the same regime you and i knew when we traveled there about two years ago. it's different and it will be different tomorrow from what it is today. different ways for the regime to fall. it could collapse and lose control of the whole country or it could hold on to certain pockets. and those different scenarios will have a big empact on what the day after looks like and everything we've been seeing today are the factors have to be taken into account. what does the opposition look like. not just what happened to the regime but what fraction of the opposition takes over. those on the ground, in some ways they're the most encouraging. those who are ruling or trying to govern and some of the local municipalities are the ones sending the most positive signs. the outside is both dysfunctional, is divided and is
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being increasingly, there are other foreign forces that are trying, foreign countries that are trying to influence it. now inside you do have growing roll of jihadists and it's not by any means as the regime purports. but it is nonetheless growing. as time goes by, it will become more influential. you have a whole spectrum of scenarios from a clean collapse and a clean takeover to something much messier in between and more likely. i want to come back to the question of iran and who is winning or losing because it relates to one. one of the paradoxes of the arab uprising is the two biggest loses are iran and the united states. they both manage to lose in this affair. the other thing what i've heard from some iranians and some member of hezbollah is they say the alternative to assad is not takeover by some sunni group that's going to be hostile to us. it's going to be a mess. it's going to be alloites dominating and others sunni in the third place.
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we iranians they say are much more adept at dealing with fragmentation and uncertainty as we showed in afghanistan, in iraq and lebanon. far more than americans are. they see some silver lining they prefer for the assad regime to survive but they see some silver lining or some way for them to continue to play a role in fragmented chaotic dysfunctional syria. >> rose: is this the time for the president to say to vladimir putin now is the time for you to step forward and so you can really play an of leadership role. >> if i were an advisorrer to vladimir putin which obviously i am not, i would be making that point. >> i would too. >> one is to sort of you've lost up to now. so the question is at the 11th hour is there a way strategically you can maintain some standing, some face, some relationship with the successor regime, role back some of the ill will you've created in
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places like saudi arabia. also for vladimir putin is what the base. he's thinking about that. what he wants quite honestly is a moscow spring. how does he react to this. what he doesn't want to do is lose legitimacy or standing or face at home. he doesn't want to encourage people to think if they go out in the streets like they've done periodically that he's kind of an attempt in layered. so my hunch is he's going to look at it through that prism and he might actually decide now is the chance to look statesman like because if he's going to fall get out in front of the parade to switch metaphors. that's what he might do. >> rose: where does the arab spring go now. >> i'm not sure in terms of syria. my worry is it is syria and the factor and hitting iran and does iran activate hezbollah and how wide the search is. >> rose: for the whole mid east. >> so for me the whole middle
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east erupting. >> in a way we said a lot of gloomy thing. one hopeful thing out of all of this if the syrian regime does collapse and we are pressed with the question of who are the sunni opposition islam es groups, there are islamist modelists and leaders around the region they could look to and might have a calming impact on the situation. certainly the muslim brotherhood in egypt is going to have an interest in stability, perhaps even restraining some of the sunni elements within syria. the leadership of turkey, the same thing. so you know, there could be some positive e fbz on syria from the emergence of these new islamic forces. >> rose: should they be fearful in saudi arabia. >> fearful of. >> rose: somehow this is going to embolden everybody. >> the body language from saudi arabia feels amply fearful.
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they're talking about quite counterintuitive expansions of the golf cooperation council to bring in countries as far away as morocco. there's quite a bit of nervousness in the land. >> rose: it gets better and bter. >> it doesn't quit. >> rose: thank you. >> rose: the 141 if british open golf tournament begins tomorrow from royal littal and st. anne golf club. it is the sees i been third grand slam. they were victorious at the masters and u.s. open but the challenge of links golf is a british open unique test. swirling wind and narrow fare ways and difficult bunkers have instilled fear in the game's best for generations. all eyes remain on tiger woods who looks to break a drought that's left him without a major since 2008. joining me from lancaster andy
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north, he's the lead golf amists for espn and a player that will cover the british open live through sunday's final round. i am pleased to have him here. welcome. how is the britt, open different and what does it mean as it has risen for americans as the same status as the pga and the masters. >> it is the golf championship for the rest of the world. it's the oldest, this is the 141st there are an awful lot of players that have won this championship. it's part of history and i think that's what makes it so special. >> rose: tell me how you see the competitors going into this 141st open. >> there's been an awful lot of talk about is tiger ready to win a main championship. i've been lucky enough to watch him play quite a bit this week. he's playing exceptionally well. he has won three tournaments this year so i wouldn't say he's struggled.
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he's ready to go. phil nicholson is always a big story and you got some of the guys who wouldn't won are big stories. luke donald, lee westwood, steve stricter some of those type of players. this is a wonderful golf course and it will bring out the best from these players. >> rose: yes it difficult? is it the wind, the weather the fare ways, the rough, all of that. >> it's all of that at the golf course but this one in ticket has 205 bunkers that we don't see in america. if you have your jacuzzi you get it out of that. they are unbriefly deep and difficult. they literally are stroke penalties. if you put it in the fareway bunker you'll probably hit sand wedge 30 or 40 yards. there are times you have to come outside ways or even backwards. driving the ball in the fareway is so of. on top of the deep bunkering the rough this week is learn and
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long as we've seen in years because it's been a real wet summer. you have the normal whispy stuff that looks so british open, open championship stuff but in the bottom of that you've got six inches of u.s. open type thinking rough. so the players have thought there will be some lost balls this week. if you get in the rough if you're lucky enough to get it on the green you will be very fortunate. >> rose: you walk the course with tiger as he was playing a practice round i assume. tell me about how you see his swing today. >> i think he's got a lot of confidence in what has been now almost a year's worth of working on his golf swing. i don't think we saw that confidence at the masters even though he won a couple weeks before that. i think he's growing in his confidence, he's trusting it. he's able to hit some shots that are so solid and so good. i was really impressed in walking with him. this is a golf course you got to really be able to fit the ball between bunkers.
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so picking the proper line is very of off the tee. he hit his line every single time. that to me tells me he's really working on all cylinders and the fact he's got so much confidence in what he's trying to do. >> rose: this is a course where you have to move the ball around both left and right correct. >> absolutely. it's not so much that they are dog legs it's the fact that the bunkers are such that maybe you'll take the down the left hand side of the fareway and cut it and try to get it around a set of bunkers on the right side of the fairway. moving the ball is of if it's calm. moving is even more of if the win starts blowing because the players will want to a lot of times cut the ball back up into right or left wing or hook the ball into a left or right wind. controlling your golf ball is so of in an open championship. >> rose: tell me about luke donald the number one player in the way. >> he's been without doubt the most kept player in the world over the -- most consistent player in the world in the last
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two or so years. luke donald is not exceptionally long. he's a better driver now than he was two years ago as far as hitting the ball in the fairway. if you look at his hitting regulation stats he's about 120th which is not nearly good enough for what he expects to do. but where he excels, his short game pitching chipping bunker shots are on the green and putting is spectacular. this is a golf course if you can keep it out of the rough and out of the bunkers and you hit it up around the greens you've got a great opportunity to committee. i think he's got a chance this week. absolutely. >> rose: web simpson and buba watson respect ily. >> buba is an interesting story because he likes to work the ball. i don't know if he will have the patience to hit three irons off the tee or two irons. he loves to hit that driver and he's very comfortable with that driver. so it will be interesting if he can keep it out of these trouble
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spots. web simpson is not going to play this week because his wife is expecting. he's looking forward to be a proud pap aback at home. >> rose: then there's lee westwood who has yet to win a major. >> well lee westwood is a spectacular talent. maybe one of the five best ball strikers in our game, and he sliced the ball very well which will be very of. he can hit it high or low or curve it or whatever he needs to do. he has some length. the one thing he hasn't done as well as he needs to is maybe make that key putt at a key situation. his record in majors is unbelievable. he hasn't won one. he has seven top threes in major championship. he's always around it. the real key to lee westwood if he gets off to a good start that will be of. we see him fighting from behind in too many of these major championships. >> rose: darren clark who one last year. >> well darren clark is, everybody loves darren. the players love him. he really, if you look at him
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and being realistic his game has been a disaster since he won. i think that's something you could have expected out of an older player winning a major championship. this was really the icing in his career. but in looking at that this is a championship that brings out the best in darren. this is a golf course that he's played two other open championships here. he's finished 11th and third. so he loves the golf course, he likes playing here and i would think if he has a chance to play well at all this year, this will be the not you do it. >> rose: finally there is this. the last 15 grand slam champs have been won by 15 different players. what does that say about the state of the golf game today. >> i think you can look in that a couple different ways. one, we've got a lot of players that are excellent players that they've had a great opportunity to put their name on trophies. one of the reason they've had that opportunity is basically for a couple years, eight or nine or ten of those majors,
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tiger woods wasn't really in the mix for a lot of different reasons. so i think this is a championship that, and if you look at the guys who have won at royal and st. anne peter johnson, bobby jones, bobby lock, david -- the last winner here was number one in the world at the time. this golf course has brought out the best from the best players and i really think that we're going to have one of the top players win here so maybe that streak will stop. >> rose: the only one i haven't mentioned is roy macalroy. >> people still forget this is a 22-23 year old. we gave him the crown basically at the u.s. open a year ago when he played so well. this is an unbelievable talent. this is a player who will be number one in the world. and be there for a while. but this is a golf course.
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do you have the patience to lay up. do you have the patience to do some of the things you need to do. can you be aggressive at the right time and hit the ball in the fairway being aggressive. those are the kind of things we look at all these players. rory has the talent to do that. i think he's going to be an unbelievable player. can he do it this week, we'll have to see. >> rose: military suicides have reached epidemic proportions after death in combat, suicide ranks in the greatest threat to our servicemen and women. the causes are not clear nor the solutions. some might be surprised to learn that 83% of the military suicides take place on u.s. soil while only 5% are associated with post traumatic stress disorders. "time" magazine has as its cover story one a day, every day, one u.s. soldier commits suicide. why the military can't defeat its more insidious enemy. joining me now nancy gibbs, mark
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thompson. i many pleased to have them come here. what is going on. >> well this is what the pentagon is trying to find out. this has been a problem that became very apparent an 80% increase between 2004 and 2008. so this is not a new problem but everything they've tried they just don't know what works. and so this year when you would think with the deployments winding down and the wars winding down that maybe we would start to see a leveling off of the suicide rates and instead this year they're up 18%. this could end up being the worst year for military suicides since the wars in iraq and afghanistan began. >> rose: the army's trying to understand why they are committing suicide or are they trying to understand what had he can know. >> the army knows every suicide is different and what works for soldier a may not work for soldier b. that's part of the problem sea they've adopted a blunder bust
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approach. they really don't know. but plainly the repeated deployments of a small size force is weighing heavily on the troops. i want to refer to it as sort of the reverse lay leah way plan. you get the war now but pay for it later in terms of money and mental casualties like this. >> bruce: profile -- >> rose: profile the people in this magazine who have families. >> it certainly defies all of my expectations. both men whose stories we tell and their widows who are willing to talk to us because they think it's of we understand how compounding this is. both were offices, one was a west point graduate. one was a resident at a military hospital who had never been to iraq or afghanistan and so they both are men in whom the country has invested a great deal in their training. they were very successful, they had very bright features, one had three children. they fit no kind of profile of people who have been so
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traumaized by repeated combat tours or suffered grievous injuries nor did they fall into the sort of surprising unwilling to ask for help. we hear a lot about a warrior culture where a stigma is attached to reaching out for services. both men tried to get help and neither one was able to. >> rose: they didn't feel anyone was being responsive. >> in one case it's heart breaking. one of our figures is an apache helicopter problem. he had trouble sleeping. he got prescribed me case and it wasn't working. his wife was training to be a psychological counselor. she was alert to the warning signs, urged him to get help. he goes in to see a doctor and told the wait is two hours comes back later. he call the suicide hotline. the last text message that his wife got from him was still on hold. he was on hold for 45 minutes. and she comes home that night and she finds him in their bedroom he shot himself through
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the neck. >> rose: the other one hanged himself. >> the other one hanged himself in the cold room at his army hospital in hawaii. >> rose: in the call room. >> in the call room. he tried again. his wife was very aware. in his case unlike the apache pilot whose issues came on much more suddenly. in this case dr. michael mcadden had battled depression for years. his wife was but she knew he was reluctant to take the time to go get help. he's a medical resident and he says we're all very busy. i can't disappear for an hour a week. she wishes his commands could order him to get help. that's the only way he would do it. they say he seems to be doing fine he's functioning well at work we don't see a problem it would be good if he needs help to get it but they couldn't require it. in his case, she overhears him on the phone with their little girl saying give your mommy a hug for me and tell her i love her. and that sets off the warning
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bells in her. half hour later she gets an e-mail from him that says this is the hardest e-mail i ever had to write. please don't ever tell our children how i died. i'm so sorry i failed you as a husband and of course she calls the hospital sound the alarm find my husband and they find his body in the call room. >> rose: what's the army going to do not the army but the military. >> the army because it's by far the business es problem in the army. they tried everything the normal stuff from counseling to therapy to acupuncture, yoga, aroma therapy. the problem is as we point out in the article the pentagon currently spends about 53 billion a year on healthcare. it's a big cost. it's a lot of money. almost 10% of the budget. and only 4% or $2 billion goes to mental healthcare. the problem is your quick reaction can be and a lot of
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generals editors say well just spend more. that implies where to put the money to have the biggest impact and they don't. so there is intense frustration in the military on this score which is only roused when you get a general that will like something like the general did out of fort bliss earlier this year saying suck it up soldiers i'm sick and tired of you guys killing yourself we've got a job to do. that sends a wrong signal of those teetering on the edge and may push some on the edge. there is views expressed by the general is pretty wide spread. >> rose: is there anything about these wars that had to do with what they're experiencing the number of tours they had to go through. >> not only that, number one yes it's a turnstile war. you keep going back. number two, we have the best military in the world and the crudest weapons are being used against our troops, and they are
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very effective at wrecking minds. the ieds the road size bombs. we've got these wonderful helmets that will protect your skull but they do not protect your brain. your brain shakes around in there like a bowl full of jelly. unfortunately and the reason why army people believe that the suicide rate is not likely to abate soon is that the shaking, the tbi, the traumatic brain injury and the ptsd it can cause is like the planting of a seed. you sowed for months and may not sprout until later. just because the wars are winding down doesn't mean the problem's gone. >> rose: what response from this article, this cover story. >> it's been remarkable. one of the one that moved me the most was a military lawyer saying you know well of course the minute anyone goes to try to get help they realize very quickly they've made a horrible mistake. that it will affect their
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security clearance, that their commander will know that they are battling depression. suddenly they will stop being seen as a member of the team and they will be seen as an invalid. after the second or third time you're going to say everything's fine you're better now. the issue of stigma, the issue how this will affect my career is a real one. we heard those sorts of responses. we mainly heard and mark can speak to this, a lot of appreciation for telling these stories. >> rose: what one question did you not get answered for your own satisfaction in terms of covering the story and writing the story. >> well the same one that everybody asks. why. why is this happening. i mean the reason we did the story was simple. every month the army issues a roster of numbers. very black and white numbers. 22 this month, 32 that month. but we never hear the other side of those numbers and we elected to go out and try to find some of these people who are dying and trying to tell their
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stories. >> rose: and you? what's in the end what's the most searing moment in this story for you. >> i think another reminder that we are going to be living with these wars for the rest of our lives. and you know, it's such a small minority of our country. during world war ii, 8.7% of adults were serving in the military. it's now half how far 1%. it's a much much smaller more isolated group of people who are bearing these costs. we talked about this for the last ten years that our wars are being fought by an increasingly isolated group of people. i think even as the wars wind down it is still true that the costs are being borne by a small group of people and the costs are really long lasting. >> rose: here is obviously a photograph of the soldier playing taps. the title of this is one a day because every day one u.s. soldier commits suicide.
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thank you. good to see you. >> thank you charlie. >> rose: back in a moment. stay with us. >> rose: we continue our conversation now with tom tarantino. he is a former army captain. he now serve as deputy of policy director for iraq and afghanistan veterans of america. i am pleased to have him here in this program and i thank you, you were coming up from washington you were on a bus. the bus broke down so you couldn't join us for the original conversation but you were able to get here so i thank you. >> thank you for having me charlie i appreciate it. >> rose: tell me, you obviously know because you're involved in this, because you're of the military. what's going on? >> well it's a serious situation, charlie. right now we are dealing with record suicide numbers. not just in the army but also across the military. and those are the known numbers. what's unknown are the veteran population. we are estimating 18 commit suicide a day bebut we don't know because we have no way of
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tracking veterans in the country. >> rose: if you go through what some of these veterans have gone through and i say it obviously has a possibility of having a searing impact on you. you see things you never imagined you would see. what do we know about the impact. what does it do to you. >> it affects everyone. it affected me, affected almost everyone i went to compat with in different ways. the difference is that we don't train our military to understand that these are wounds. i tell soldiers all the time look if you had gotten shot and you had a hole in your chest you have to walk around with a hole in your chest. you're going to the doc he will reso -- re sew you. we don't deal with mental health injuries and traumatic wounds and brain injuries like we do with wounds you can see. >> rose: if you have a bullet in your body we don't say buck
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it up. >> right. this is a significant culture shift that is yet to happen in the military. it's great if secretary gets it or general gets it or general dempsey or admiral mullen. it's great they all get it and it's a huge step forward from where we were ten years ago. the problem is though lieutenants and those sergeants and captains if they don't get it and mental health awareness and understanding how these issues affect the every day lays of their servicemen or women, if they don't get it or they are not trained on it since day one like they are used to use a rifle or train their body. >> rose: is there an emergency or mandate for a bit of information and awareness. on the one hand body armor itself and on the other hand people are living with stress they don't even know or they are too worried to talk about. >> i think we have to deal with the triage right now.
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we have to beef up the mental health. we need a national call to action. we need a president to the united states saying you need to come serve your country go work in the dod we have a shortage. these not enough professionals to meet the demand. then it's going back and teaching people how to understand mental health, how to be resilient to mental health injuries. just like we condition our body. everybody in the military works out for an hour, hour and-a-half every single morning to condition their body. we don't do anything to teach people how to condition your mind. we don't do anything to teach people how to understand what these injuries are. how to understand if your buddy next to you is doing too well. >> rose: did the chairman of joint chiefs simply say we're going to start doing this i insist and make it a high priority for me and then it will be done. >> they've been doing this and they have been doing this but what it does is it takes a long time. we started seven years into the war doing this stuff. had they looked at it with
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foresight and started doing this sort of resiliency training and doing these prevention efforts in 2003 and 2002 we would be in a much differ state. we have five years in iraq and seven years of afghanistan veterans myself included where i served during that time where this stuff doesn't exist. we didn't understand it. if we caught it and got someone in treatment it was more because of extreme circumstances or luck. >> rose: are you a bit optimistic because there's a story in time and you're here tonight. >> i am uncertainty about the men and women who serve. >> rose: what are you uncertain about. >> about the system designed to care for them not just while they're serving but for the rest of their lives is going to be able to keep up. >> rose: because of resources. >> because of resources. >> rose: or because of mind set. >> because of resources because of mind set. because we are always fighting
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that last conflick. i think the va is light years ahead where it was three or four years ago but it's no where near where it needs to be. when half of the soldiers or half of the veteran that need care it takes 50 days to get in to get a mental health appointment. that's unacceptable. and we have to do better. >> rose: again is that resources or is that simply bureaucratic inefficiency. >> like the issue of suicide it's not one thing. it's not a simple answer. it is resources, it is bureaucratic red tape. it is bad recordkeeping. it's a fact we can't track soldiers records very well from dod on to da. it's all of these things. just now in 2012 we're just starting to get a bigger picture of what this all looks like. keep in mind we've been doing this now for 11 years&just starting to get around what the
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meta problem is. that's a serious problem in terms of taking care of the people that are in crises right now. however, the great news is that these injuries are treatable. and if you have mental health issues, if you are feeling suicidal, there is treatment available. there's the suicide prevention hotline. there are, there's the vet centers if you're a vet. there are mental health. you have to seek it out. and it's incumbent on the military and the va to make sure that people who need help get it exactly when they need it. >> rose: based on the numbers you've seen and experiences you've seen, you get up one morning and say i think i'll commit suicide today. >> that's exactly right. suicide isn't the problem. it isn't a problem. it is the tragic conclusion of a string of problems. and that's the thing that i'm disappointed with the way the military has talked about suicide. they say well it's family stress or it's this one thing. it's not any one thing, it is a string of things.
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the string of problems and stresses and things that the soldier and the service member have had to endure. at many points throughout the genesis of the suicide there's a string of failures to catch it and those are things we have to address if we are going to ultimately solve this problem. >> rose: great seeing you, thank you. >> thank you. >> rose: thank you for joining us. see you next time.
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